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Besides being excellent vocalists and musicians, choral singers have to be great team players. Everyone has to know his or her strengths and weaknesses (and self-knowledge can be so elusive!), and contribute accordingly. In performance, some lead in providing impeccable pitch or rhythm, others by offering an unfailingly lovely timber, still others by reliably delivering the highest or lowest notes as needed. But a great choir needs to rehearse well together, too. So in addition to all those audible skills above, a successful choir relies upon those especially astute musicians who model just the ideal phrasing or articulation, or ask just the right (leading) question to help the process alo


Our American culture is famously and proudly individualistic, partly a reaction to and flight from the oppressive class systems of the Old World. We should surely be grateful for the great leap of faith, strongly influenced by John Locke's utilitarian individualism, that made our democracy possible. But as the Greeks say, "moderation in all things." Any individualism must be tempered with an understanding of, and even a celebration of, our interconnectedness. We find meaning not only in our own experience, but in our relationships--our friends, our families, our colleagues, our neighbors. Thus Martin Luther writes his A Mighty Fortress in first person plural--it is our God, our Fortress,

Let it shine

In The Merchant of Venice, Portia exclaims, seeing a light burning in her hall, “How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.” The light known as Fanny Lou Hamer was born 100 years ago today in Montgomery County, Mississippi, the youngest of twenty children. She started picking cotton at age 6, and could pick 300 pounds in a day by the time she was 13. In 1962, Fanny was inspired by a sermon from James Bevel, an organizer representing the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Soon thereafter, Fanny took the radical step of registering to vote. She was fired from her plantation job that very night. Undaunted, she began a life-long crusade for

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This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support Grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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